Judge: Joyelle McSweeney

JUNE 1 – SEPTEMBER 1, 2017


BWR is thrilled to open a brand new contest category in Flash Prose. Show us your tiny gems!


We don’t want to reduce the possibilities of flash to a single genre. Whether a 1,000-word sci-fi story, a 500-word personal essay, or a lyric-leaning narrated ritual on the page, we’re open to your experimentations and we want to be surprised. Show us prose, however you define it, that makes every word count.


Joyelle McSweeney is the author of eight books of poems, fiction, drama and essays. Her writing chases an exuberant sound-infused hyperdiction through an array of genres, conventions, personae and forms. Her poetry books include The Red Bird, The Commandrine, and Percussion Grenade, all from Fence, and her prose books include Nylund, the Sarcographer and Salamandrine, 8 Gothics, both from Tarpaulin Sky, plus Flet from Fence. Her verse play, Dead Youth, or the Leaks, won the inaugural Scalapino Prize for Innovative Women Performance Artists and was published by Litmus in 2014. Her most recent book, The Necropastoral: Poetry, Media, Occults, was published by the University of Michigan Poets on Poetry Series in 2015. McSweeney is the co-founder of Action Books and teaches at Notre Dame.



  • Submit up to 3 works of prose. Each must be under 1,000 words.
  • Do not include your contact information in your document. We will use your Submittable information to contact you, so please make sure your contact information is accurate and up-to-date.
  • Multiple submissions are welcome, as are simultaneous submissions. Please notify us immediately if your submission is accepted elsewhere.
  • We accept only previously unpublished work for publication.
  • Winner receives $500 and publication in BWR 44.2, our Spring/Summer 2018 issue. One runner-up receives $100 and online publication. We may consider any submission for general publication.
  • The contest is open June 1 – September 1. Winners will be announced in October.



  • Students, faculty, staff, and administrators currently affiliated with the University of Alabama are ineligible for consideration or publication.
  • Intimate friends, relatives, colleagues, and former or current students of the judges are ineligible to submit in that category.
  • Previous winners should wait three years after their winning entry is published before entering again.
  • Black Warrior Review adheres to the CLMP Contest Code of Ethics.  You can find the CLMP Code of Ethics and our Contest Procedures here.



  • Submit your work through Submittable at bwr.submittable.com/submit. We do not accept mailed or emailed submissions.
  • Upload your submission as a .docx or .pdf.
  • There is an $8 entry fee for each submission.
  • Please email us at blackwarriorreview@gmail.com with any questions.